LATELY there have been various news articles on the resilience of livestock markets over the last 12 months during COVID-19, and on their ability to stand the test of time. Like farmers, we have to continue looking outside the box. This year for example, a new method of operating a trading system was developed - the Drop & Go. Farmers provide the food for every household throughout the UK and further afield, says Farmer columnist Heather Pritchard of H&H.

The H&H livestock centres have continued to develop and build up an even stronger level of trust in customers. We have seen more and more livestock numbers coming through the markets and trade has continued to be positive throughout.

The recent spring suckled calf sales through Borderway, Kirkby Stephen, Lockerbie, Middleton in Teesdale and St Boswells have all seen a rise in price for many consignments, with the overall sale averages showing a rise of between £200-£250 on the year. Topping all of the H&H centres was a Limousin cross entry from Neil Hardisty of Ennerdale, which sold at Borderway for £7,000.

Looking back on recent pedigree sales which took place in early spring, the Limousin Society sale topped at 42,000gns for Pointhouse Paul shown by Michael Diamond from Northern Ireland. The native bred spring sales saw the Galloway sale head up at 4,300gns for Ace of Whitehill, a bull consigned by WJ Henderson, Lockerbie. In the Whitebred Shorthorn sale it was the females which stole the show, securing a leading price of 3,200gns for a heifer with calf at foot. This was Barlaes White Heather 20th, sold by Robert McTurk from Castle Douglas. In the Beef Shorthorn section, a two-year-old bull, Lowther Special K V1, shown by Nord Vue Farms Ltd was knocked down at 4,000gns.

The Online Timed Auctions for the Machinery & Implement sales team is attracting enormous interest, and this month we will have one of the largest catalogued entries on offer with 550 lots up for auction. With the popularity growing in the machinery sector, we continue to hold the monthly events as more and more interest is building from further afield - through both the consignors and purchasers.

Coming up on the sales calendar over the next few weeks is a Spring Genetic Sale of semen and embryos; the Longhorn Cattle Society official spring sale; the Global Connection Sale for dairy genetic breeders; and the Irish Moiled Cattle Society official spring sale. These sales will all take place through the Online Timed Auction system of marketing.

The dairy sale ring has again continued to be buoyant, with prices sustaining a strong trend. Over the last month we have traded nearly 700 head of dairy cattle and looking ahead to the next month, numbers look to be on a similar basis again.

Recently we announced that it will be our intention to stage the 2021 Borderway Agri Expo event this year. This is scheduled to take place on Friday, October 29, providing that appropriate rules and regulations are all in place and adhered to.

Until next month, continue to stay safe.